Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Kristaps Porzingis update: Celtics big man day-to-day with ‘serious injury’ as his Game 3 status in jeopardy

The Boston Celtics may be without star big man Kristaps Porzingis in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday. The team announced Tuesday afternoon that Porzingis has a “torn medial retinaculum, allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon” in his left leg. He’s officially being listed as day-to-day, putting his status for Game 3 in jeopardy.

While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said Porzinigis is dealing with a “serious injury.” When asked if he’ll play in Game 3, the coach said, “I have no idea.”

“He’s doing anything and everything he can to be ready for the game tomorrow,” Mazzulla said. “It’s a serious injury, and at the end of the day, the medical team is not going to put him in any bad situations. We’ve taken the decision to play out of his hands, because of the importance of him. So he’s going to do everything he can to play, and then we’re going to leave it up to our medical team.”

The Celtics say Porzingis picked up the injury with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter, and that it is unrelated to the previous calf injury in his right leg that kept him sidelined for most of the playoffs. It appeared as though Porzingis tweaked his right calf late in the fourth quarter of Game 2, after fighting for a rebound with PJ Washington. He stumbled and fell to the floor awkwardly, and could be seen jogging back with an awkward gait. He stayed in the game for a few more possessions, then checked out. He didn’t return to the game and could be seen stretching out that right leg. After the game, Porzingis said he wasn’t worried about the awkward fall, and Mazzulla said his concern level was “zero,” about the Celtics big man, but now it appears he picked up a different injury that the team should worry about.

Porzingis told reporters that he’s “optimistic” about playing in Game 3, even with this latest announcement.

“It’s kind of a random situation, and yeah, I felt something and now I have to deal with it,” Porzingis said. “As we said, it’s going to be day-to-day, and see how I am tomorrow, and I just feel I’m going to do everything I can to be out there tomorrow.”

When asked if he was optimistic about playing in Game 3, Porzingis said, “I am, of course, I have to be. I’m optimistic, as I said, I will do everything I can to be out there tomorrow. We’ll see.”

Porzingis was walking with a brace after speaking to reporters, so the severity of it is unclear. But if he can’t play, or is limited in his ability, it will certainly change things for the Celtics a bit. Porzingis’ rim protection has been key in limiting Dallas’ lob threats, and he’s already racked up five blocks through two games. He’s been great defending in space, as well as in the paint, and on the other end the Mavericks simply don’t have an answer for him. 

Porzingis has been coming off the bench in the first two games of the Finals, but he’s been incredibly effective when he’s on the floor, dropping 20 points in Game 1 on 8 of 13 from the floor and 12 points in Game 2. The floor spacing he provides makes life difficult for Dallas’ defense, and while the Celtics have had no problems playing without him in their run to the Finals, if K.P. can’t play it does open the door a bit for the Mavericks to close the gap Boston has created.

Looking for more NBA coverage? John Gonzalez, Bill Reiter, Ashley Nicole Moss and special guests dive deep into the league’s biggest storylines daily on the Beyond the Arc podcast.

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